Oh, dear Mexico
You’re beautiful, even in the movies
Home sweet home… being at your own house can be one of the simplest and comforting pleasures in life, but being able to call Mexico your home, well that’s just priceless. The spark and flavor of Mexico are feelings that reach your heart and chills your soul with every expression of pride towards this beautiful country. It’s the culture, traditions and natural beauty that shelter us, with all of its colors, that make every and anyone that visits us feel just at home… even if we’re watching it in the movies!
Thanks to the heavens and the seventh art, we don’t have to leave our house to feel the warmth of Mexico on our skin, since these nine movies, series, and documentaries, are bound to take a little piece of this land to your couch.
Let’s start with the classics of Mexican movies
You’re Missing the Point (1940)
Of course, I was going to start off with Mario Moreno, or as you might know him: “Cantinflas”. “You’re Missing the Point” was his first role as a protagonist in a movie, premiering in 1940 and making the script almost entirely his, in order to “Cantinflearlo” (a comedic way of talking non-sense that only Cantinflas could perform) in his very own way and gift us this uncut diamond that has become essential among the Mexican cinema classics. Cantinflas was an incredibly prolific actor and really any of his movies could’ve made the cut, however, for those amateurs who are only just beginning to enter his marvelous world, “You’re Missing the Point” is the right way to do so.
The Young and the Damned (1950)
This tragedy directed by Luis Buñuel is one of his most known films and maybe one of the most relevant from his Mexican phase. Premiering in 1950, “The Young and the Damned” features a tragic scenery of the life of the slum living children in Mexico City. The screenplay is melodramatic, tough and distressing. However, this is one of the greatest films in Mexican cinema, and if you’re willing to break a little piece of your heart, this is the movie to do so.
The last of the black and white era movies you’ll find on this list. Premiering in 1960, “Macario” is based on the novel by the same title written in 1950 by B. Traven. It has even been considered as one of the classics in Mexican literature. A “can’t miss” film during the Day of the Dead festivities, since “Macario” tells the story of a deal made with this same entity with whom, us Mexicans, have a very close relationship.
After the classics, along comes the modern classics!
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Also inspired by the equally titled novel written by Laura Esquivel, “Like Water for Chocolate” could already be classified as a modern classic in Mexican cinema (and literature). In this story, the colors and traditions of Mexico during the revolution are portrayed. Through delicious recipes that characterize one of the most important pillars of Mexican households, we can be witnesses of a love and drama story that reaches your heart, and undoubtedly, opens your appetite.
México Pelágico (2014)
Have you ever tried to save your breath for as long as the guy in the movie remains underwater? Well, if you’re watching “México Pelágico”, that’s strongly not recommended. As its name suggests, this documentary film explores the depths of Mexico’s pelagic life in seas and oceans. Three years in the making, resulting in a beautiful framing of life along the depths of the waters in Mexico while raising awareness over the protection of its pelagic species.
Where to watch?
If you go further into their webpage, you’ll find, among many things, that they are working on the second part of this spectacular documentary!
“Coco” is Pixar’s portrayal of a tradition that characterizes us as Mexicans. Even if this film isn’t “Mexican cinema”, it’s still a great interpretation of how Mexico is viewed from the eyes of foreigners, and by gosh, it’s something beautiful! After lots of investigation and repeated visits to towns in our country, traditions and environments of the Day of the Dead are perfectly represented. The music, food, fiesta, and colors are essential elements of our culture, and you will be finding them in this film!
Destilando México (“Distilling Mexico” 2018)
Along with this documentary series, you’ll be following Miguel Rodarte through different states in Mexico. You’ll learn about the most traditional dishes and drinks while you tour along with their landscapes and take a dive into their culture. Mezcal, sotol, chili liquor, pox, and tequila. It’ll be vital for you to keep one of these close since I’m telling you, you’ll be needing a drink!
Find it in Amazon Prime Video
The largely condecorated film is also a semi-autobiography of Alfonso Cuarón, who turned the eyes of the whole world to Mexico. A portray of life in Mexico in the early ’70s displayed upon a nostalgic black and white scenery. Besides the many nominations and the Oscar for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Film, “Roma” became the first Mexican movie to compete for a Best Film Oscar.
Where to watch it? You may find it on Netflix
Taco Chronicles (2019)
A documentary series where every chapter is dedicated to a type of taco. Need I say more? Discover the history behind each taco and make sure to be trying it in the best possible places! To watch this series, you will need first, some good tacos, second, a good bucket, since your mouth will be watering uncontrollably. Learn more about Mexico through its most famous and versatile dish!
Where to watch? You may find it in Netflix
Now a few bonuses
The following films didn’t make the cut for the mere reason that they are not located in Mexico. However, their directors are as Mexican as Xcaret, and that too fills us with pride.
Children of Men (2006, Alfonso Cuarón)
Find it on Netflix
Birdman (2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Find it on Netflix
The Revenant (2015, Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Find it on Netflix
The Shape of Water (2018, Guillermo Del Toro)
Find it on www.cinepolisklic.com
This list could go on and on… but I had to cut myself short and make this small selection of Mexican movies. Which movies would you add?